Tokyo ESP–Anime Quick Take

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From my point of view Tokyo ESP (Hulu) has two strikes against it: It’s bloodier than I usually like and it looks very derivative of Marvel’s X-Men franchise. But I find that I’m still watching it anyway because I like the main characters.
Tokyo ESP dinner with penguin
The first episode almost made me drop it though. It starts out right in the middle of the story with the bad guys doing all sorts of horrible things while the main characters (the ones I actually like) barely had walk-on roles. Things improved quite a bit with the second episode.

The premise is that there are mysterious glowing fish flying around Tokyo. If one of them swims into your body you get a psychic power which you can use for good or evil. Whether you’re good or bad, the non-powered majority are going to be suspicious of you and generally give you a hard time.

On the whole the bad guys seem to get the most impressive powers. If you’re good, you’ll probably get a power that is useful, but not enough to take on a supervillain unless you train hard and team up with like-minded comrades.

Also even the good guys can do a lot of harm until they learn to control their powers. The protagonist, Rinka Urushiba a.k.a. “The White Girl,” can pass through solid matter. The first time her power manifested she fell naked into the apartment below, much to the bemusement of the man who lived there.

Though this does get pretty violent on a regular basis, there’s also a fair amount of whimsy. There’s a cute flying penguin, a martial arts instructor who wears a panda costume and thinks he’s Yoda, and some minor characters who think that they’re the Ghostbusters. (Or maybe they are the Ghostbusters who have moved to Tokyo. I’m not really sure.)